By ELIZABETH BASTIAN, Managing Editor
For the past two years, Mondays have consistently been one of my favorite days of the week.
I knew that every Monday when I came to school, I would have a day full of laughter and good conversations ahead of me, of lots of food (sometimes good, sometimes bad), of an eclectic playlist of music, and hours spent with a group who has become more than just staff to me. Because when the Michigan Journal editors gather every Monday to hold production and design the newspaper, we don’t even have to try / it’s always a good time.
This is not really a goodbye column, but in a way it is. While I am not graduating until December, I am leaving my home for the past two years in order to focus on other extra-curriculars, on schoolwork, and on figuring out my life post-grad. This is my last issue as the Managing Editor, and as a member of the editorial team. Almost 100 articles written, nearly 50 Mondays spent producing the paper, and countless other hours covering events, conducting interviews, cleaning up the office, and napping on beanbags. I wouldn’t trade these moments, and the friendships I have made with the staff, for anything. The Michigan Journal is my home; these people are my family.
I know that there are some UM-Dearborn students out there who purposefully avoid the UC and the second floor for fear of getting sucked into the drama. They don’t want to get lost in this world. But while there can be drama up here, there is so much more than that. Getting involved on campus was probably the best choice I made in the past three years. Outside of the MJ, I have met and worked with so many driven, inspirational student leaders who are committed to improving the so-called nonexistent student life here. From Student Government, to WUMD, to Lyceum, and the smaller but equally effective Register Student Organizations (RSOs), there are hundreds of students on campus who continually devote their free time to producing something everyone can enjoy. Although in years past collaboration between orgs seemed almost unheard of, nowadays I feel as though there is a different dynamic on the second floor. We all know each other, we are all invested in each other’s work, and most of all we respect each other. I have learned so much from my fellow student org leaders in the past two years, and I cannot wait to see how they are going to change the world in the next ten years.
Instead of forcing you all to read a senior will-esque piece in which I laud my colleagues and flaunt our inside jokes in your face, I would like to pass on a few very important lessons I have learned, in the hopes that they will help you just as much as they have helped me:
Be careful what you put in writing. With the Internet, e-mails, texts, and even Snap Chats, anything you say can go viral at anytime. I have been shocked a couple times this year after seeing how certain articles on our website were shared, and were commented on. If you don’t want it to come back to haunt you, keep it to yourself.
Communication is so important. I really cannot stress this enough. Do NOT let things slide if there is a problem, because your repressed emotions will eventually be let go of in a destructive manner. Instead, be constructive by pulling the individual in question aside, letting them know in a calm and professional manner what is wrong, and offer help should they need it. It’s good to be diplomatic, but it’s not good to leave bothersome situations unaddressed.
Don’t let your past experiences limit your future ones. As the only staff member (besides our business and advertising team) who is not a Communications or Journalism and Screen Studies major, I was often asked the question of “What are you doing here?” But what can I say? I love writing, I enjoy editing, and I like being someone whom others feel they can talk to if they need help. Most of all, I love being part of a publication. It’s good to have mixed interests, and it’s even better to continue to expand your interests as you grow.
Celebrate accomplishments and milestones. Often we are so busy that we don’t pause and enjoy the moment. Embrace those good feelings you get from achieving a desired goal. You deserve a break after all that hard work.
John Quincy Adams once said that “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” I have been so inspired by my staffers and by my fellow org leaders, and I genuinely hope I have returned the favor in some small way.
I will miss my Mondays with the MJ. There was always stress, sometimes panicking and tears; but there was also laughter, off-key singing, dance breaks, and Cosmo readings. These past two years have had the best Mondays of my life. To those that made that possible – thank you, from the bottom of my heart.